Milan’s fall 2020 shows were filled with Old World craftsmanship and new takes on throwback styles; I was on hand (@johannahmasters) to take it all in. Bold name brands presented showstopping ensembles — from head-to-toe chunky knits at Dolce & Gabbana and impressive leather patchwork pieces at Tod’s, to full-on-fringe at Prada and Bottega Veneta. Giorgio Armani, meanwhile, opted to stream his show without an audience as coronavirus panic peaked. Here are the trends to watch (up close or from afar) for fall.
There wasn’t a major show in Milan that didn’t feature some form of fringe. Prada’s “car wash” skirts were a standout of the season, while Fendi embraced boudoir lace. Boss luxuriated in lilac for a swishy silk sheath, and Salvatore Ferragamo chose gilded chains for an updated take on the Roaring ’20s. Bottega Veneta, meanwhile, made a splash with chic, squid-like styles.
Milan runways proved that ruffles are still making waves — from day to night. Max Mara feathered the sleeves of utility pieces, adding a fierce femininity. We’d happily crimp the style of Alberta Ferretti’s perfectly pleated blouse. And Emporio Armani showed sheer genius, pairing a gauzy tiered top with matching silk shorts.
Brands ignored chilly fall forecasts with a parade of micro- minis. Marco De Vincenzo’s faux-leather draped dress was the soul of brevity. Anteprima balanced bare legs by shroud- ing everything else in a matching coat and gloves. Antonio Marras kept us guessing, mixing a short floral number with a plaid button-down and punk accessories.
Dolce & Gabbana ensconced models in chunky knit cocoons (while artisans live-knit in the foyer). Gucci also kept things cozy with a mohair cardigan, hat and scarf. But No.21’s tomboy ensemble packed punk, with safety pins piercing an extra long-sleeve sweater.
Italian designers also breathed new life into 1970s leather patchwork. Versace combined colors and textures on a sleek pencil skirt, Tod’s dusted off a throwback coat of many colors, and Marni showed a golden kaleidoscope dress paired with matching pants.
Blazé Milano and Alexandre Birman step together
The three trailblazing Italian women behind Blazé Milano — known for their chic jackets — collabo- rated with Brazilian footwear designer Alexandre Birman on a new shoe capsule. Their takes on the “Vicky” sandal (a Birman favorite) came in the form of metallic, snake and suede finishes in two heel heights, topped with an elegant knot detail.
Pucci’s Koché coup
Emilio Pucci invited guest designer Christelle Kocher to add a sporty spin to its iconic prints for fall. Koché, a brand known for clever sportswear, played with Pucci’s heritage prints, mixing tracksuits with dresses and pearls. The result? A boundary- pushing new genre of glam-leisure.
Armani’s grand return
Giorgio Armani may have shown his fall 2020 collection behind closed doors at the end of Milan fashion week, but before the coronavirus scare, he opened his doors to a new store on Via Sant’Andrea. The 1,300-square-foot shop — full of womens, mens and beauty offerings — returns Armani’s enduring style to its historic home.